Why It Matters
Micro-SaaS helps you design your life without optimizing for investors and large teams.
It can also be a wedge into larger markets. Morphing into SaaS. Or even a platform. Big things start small.
Large SaaS apps solve lots of problems for lots of people.
Micro-SaaS apps solve a specific problem for a specific group of people.
- Run by a solo founder or small team
- Focused on a single feature or minimal feature set
- Extends a platform such as Shopify, Stripe or Intercom
- Potion - Create custom websites in Notion.
- TextRetailer - Let customers shop using text messages.
- Placid - Generate social share images.
- Elon Stocks - Trade on Elon's tweets.
- Super - Turn Notion pages into websites.
- Plausible - Simple, privacy-friendly analytics.
- PermanentLink - Prevent link rot.
- ilo - Understand how your tweets perform.
- Benji - Tax write-offs for Canadian freelancers.
- Control - Financial management app for small businesses.
- Userbase - User authentication.
- ScreenshotAPI - Programmatic screenshots.
- We'll see more Micro-SaaS apps built with no-code tools like Bubble and Bildr. InvestorFuse reached $50K per month using Podio and Zapier. SendPilot.co runs on Bubble. The first version of Shoutout was built on Bubble.
- Open-source, SaaS alternatives will continue to emerge. A few examples:
- Platforms will continue to clone popular plugins. Shopify now offers native abandoned cart recovery. They are outsourcing R&D.
- Micro-SaaS will thrive despite platforms cloning features. Abandoned cart apps, like CartHook, Consistent Cart, and Privy solve problems missed by Shopify. They can move faster than large apps and design for thousands instead of millions of people.
- Micro-SaaS is about focus. Large, monolithic apps may have more features, financing, and people. But they lack focus. Micro-SaaS apps can make design concessions for specific groups of people.
- Technical moats are fading. Code is being commoditized. Distribution matters more than ever.
- Micro-SaaS is an example of the increasing leverage of individuals. Solo founders and small teams can build more and faster than ever before. This meta-trend also shows up in Million-Dollar, One Person Businesses, No-Code, and Low-Code.
"Your definition of Micro-SaaS doesn't mention revenue."
You're right. It doesn't. A revenue ceiling may be correlated to small teams and hyper-focused features. But making money doesn't make you less of a Micro-SaaS.
"What if a customer outgrows my Micro-SaaS?"
Some will. Productized Services are similar. Their ability to streamline operations stems from their ability to focus. If you're selling to everyone, you're selling to no one. Focus isn't free. Don't lose a diamond chasing glitter.
"You say index into markets. What about well-established markets?"
It's not a hard rule. Slow-growing markets with embedding effects may be hard to break into. Or the market is already small. Consider opportunity costs. Some battles aren't worth fighting.
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